#1
Hey guys, lately I've been toying with the idea of getting either a second guitar or a lower-wattage tube head (I know, I know, those are completely different things...).

Anyway, I currently have a Schecter Blackjack ATX-V, which I tune to C# Standard for black and death metal. I am extremely happy with this guitar and wouldn't hesitate to buy another Schecter. Some people think their necks are too thick, but they work great for my gorilla hands. I grew up playing Les Pauls, which I no longer prefer -- so the thinner necks of Schecters are good enough for me.

Here are my goals for a new guitar:

My current guitar is great for extreme metal, which is what I play 90% of the time. That will probably not change much, as I've been a metalhead for most of my life.

What I want out of a new guitar is passive pickups, and probably not as hot as the actives in my V. This guitar would cover the ground between warm cleans, blues, blues rock, all the way up to metal, albeit lower-gain, more classic metal. I am a decent blues player, but my current guitar just leaves a lot to be desired for that sound. I am a huge fan of Strats and have owned a couple. However, I cannot stand single coil pickups in the bridge. My favorite position on a Strat is the neck + middle single coil position. There's something about that selection on bluesy leads that just sounds amazing to me.

I was looking at this Schecter:
Schecter

I wonder if the push/pull pots would allow me to get that neck + middle single coil sound, even though the guitar only has two humbuckers. If so, I think that guitar would make me very happy. I do also want a Floyd; not for crazy divebombs/vibrato but for subtle ambiant playing.

Are there any other guitars I should be looking at that would fit this bill? Other body shapes would be okay, but I'm a little tired of Les Pauls. I would probably need to find a used guitar as well; budget is about $350 (which is what I payed for my existing guitar and it was a damn good deal).
Atmospheric dark metal w/ black and death metal influences:
(My Soundcloud page):

Pestilential Flood
#2
Look at a used PRS SE custom, they have vintage trems, but they stay in tune very good
www.guitarcenter.com/PRS-Used-PRS-CE-CUSTOM-RED-YELLOW-SUNBURST-Solid-Body-Electric-Guitar-110542047-i3945688.gc
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#3
Quote by KailM

Here are my goals for a new guitar:

My current guitar is great for extreme metal, which is what I play 90% of the time. That will probably not change much, as I've been a metalhead for most of my life.

What I want out of a new guitar is passive pickups, and probably not as hot as the actives in my V. This guitar would cover the ground between warm cleans, blues, blues rock, all the way up to metal, albeit lower-gain, more classic metal. I am a decent blues player, but my current guitar just leaves a lot to be desired for that sound. I am a huge fan of Strats and have owned a couple. However, I cannot stand single coil pickups in the bridge. My favorite position on a Strat is the neck + middle single coil position. There's something about that selection on bluesy leads that just sounds amazing to me.

I was looking at this Schecter:
Schecter

I wonder if the push/pull pots would allow me to get that neck + middle single coil sound, even though the guitar only has two humbuckers. If so, I think that guitar would make me very happy. I do also want a Floyd; not for crazy divebombs/vibrato but for subtle ambiant playing.

Are there any other guitars I should be looking at that would fit this bill? Other body shapes would be okay, but I'm a little tired of Les Pauls. I would probably need to find a used guitar as well; budget is about $350 (which is what I payed for my existing guitar and it was a damn good deal).


It will probably get you close, but it probably won't really nail it.

Is $350 a hard cap? I ask because I am leery of the tremolos on guitars in that price range.
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#4
Quote by Robbgnarly
Look at a used PRS SE custom, they have vintage trems, but they stay in tune very good
www.guitarcenter.com/PRS-Used-PRS-CE-CUSTOM-RED-YELLOW-SUNBURST-Solid-Body-Electric-Guitar-110542047-i3945688.gc


While they have coil-splits from 2013 and onward, they won't really get him into Strat territory.

I will recommend you a used Fender Standard Stratocaster HSS. No matter what people say, I think they are great and will suit your needs. Even the SSS, which has ceramic single coils, will not sound the way Strats use to sound. They are much hotter and thicker in the bridge than usual. The trem on mine works really well for what you're intending too.

The Nazgul-pickups in the Banshee will not get you anywhere close to a Strat sound, even with coil-taps/splits.
"Your signature can not be longer than 250 characters."

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Last edited by HomerSGR at Sep 27, 2014,
#5
Find a used MIJ Fender with a humbuggie in the bridge. Great quality. I found my Foto flame for 350, it plays great an the stock pickups are more than useable, I only changed the bridge because I like you hate bridge strat single coils.
I'm just a kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer.
#6
I've got an HH guitar with series/single/parallel switching, and I think it does a reasonable job of the middle position single sound. But it depends how picky you are.

However, you will need two push-pull pots, one for each pickup. If you want both pickups on one switch it would have to be a 4pdt switch (this is what I have), or maybe some kind of superswitch, like the new Stewmac one:

http://www.stewmac.com/Pickups_and_Electronics/Components_and_Parts/Switches/Free-Way_Ultra_Switch.html
#7
Quote by HomerSGR
While they have coil-splits from 2013 and onward, they won't really get him into Strat territory.

I will recommend you a used Fender Standard Stratocaster HSS. No matter what people say, I think they are great and will suit your needs. Even the SSS, which has ceramic single coils, will not sound the way Strats use to sound. They are much hotter and thicker in the bridge than usual. The trem on mine works really well for what you're intending too.

The Nazgul-pickups in the Banshee will not get you anywhere close to a Strat sound, even with coil-taps/splits.



I haven't ruled out an actual Strat. Every time I play one, it's like they're made for my hands. It would have to have a humbucker in the bridge though, absolutely mandatory. I would maybe even upgrade the bridge pickup to something like a Dimarzio Crunch Lab or something. I want it to be able to pull off a tone all the way up to thrash metal, but be ideal for rock and blues.
Atmospheric dark metal w/ black and death metal influences:
(My Soundcloud page):

Pestilential Flood
#8
Quote by KailM


-----story story story blah blah blah------


My favorite position on a Strat is the neck + middle single coil position. There's something about that selection on bluesy leads that just sounds amazing to me.

I was looking at this Schecter:
Schecter

I wonder if the push/pull pots would allow me to get that neck + middle single coil sound, even though the guitar only has two humbuckers.
Are there any other guitars I should be looking at that would fit this bill? Other body shapes would be okay, but I'm a little tired of Les Pauls.


In short, No. An HSH or HSS style guitar would allow you to do that. Even with coil tapping, the bridge+neck is a different animal from neck+middle.

I have HSH guitars with miniswitches to control coil splits (push-pulls are a pain in the neck by comparison) and a "bridge pickup add-in" switch with the five-way. This allows me to have that LP-style bridge plus neck humbucker sound AND a bridge plus neck single coil sound AND an all-three pickups combined sound that you can't get with an ordinary strat-type guitar.
#9
After reading your opening post, up to the point where you said you'd gladly buy another Schecter, a Banshee is exactly what I was going to recommend. Only having two pickups, with neither in a "middle" position, it's definitely not going to get you the bridge+middle strat style sound, but it'll be versatile as hell, anyway. With only one push/pull pot, I'm not sure if that will coil-split both pickups, or if only one of them splits. If only one, I'd assume it's the neck pickup that would split.

Also, they just revamped the Banshee line this year, and they now have the new Seymour Duncan Nazgul/Sentient pickup set. If you get one of the new ones, it may end up taking over for your death/black metal sound as well. Those pickups are beast.
#10
^^Thanks for that info.

I tried a Paul Reed Smith SE model a few days ago that was equipped with a push/pull tone knob. While it wasn't exactly a Strat tone, when I selected the neck pickup and then pulled the tone knob out, it had a similar snappy, bright tone that picked up even the slightest of trills and legato -- I really liked it with cleans for playing Hendrixy and other bluesy leads. If I had the money right now I wouldn't hesitate to spend it on that guitar. Plus, there are times where I'd probably just use the neck pickup (with the tone knob pushed in) for cleans for a darker, richer sound.

I guess my next question is, could I expect other guitars with a push/pull tone pot to behave similarly with the neck pickup selected? I really just need a little more of an education on what is coil tapping/vs. coil splitting, etc. I'm still leaning toward a Schecter because I know how they'll feel in my hands and they can be scored very cheaply on GC's used site. Money is a concern because I'm also trying to get a new mini-head that is a little more appropriate for clean and bluesy playing than my 6505+.
Last edited by KailM at Oct 31, 2014,
#11
How good a HB sounds when split depends largely on how it sounds when it isn't. The better it is in its normal mode, the better it will be split.
#12
Quote by KailM

I wonder if the push/pull pots would allow me to get that neck + middle single coil sound, even though the guitar only has two humbuckers.


No. The middle position is significantly different from the bridge position. The sound's not the same at all.

What I'd suggest is an HSH guitar with a five-way and switching that would allow you to coil tap the humbuckers. I'd further suggest adding a switch that would allow you to add in the bridge pickup. This would give you a neck plus bridge (like the middle position on an LP) *and* an "all-three" option. I have several (most are Carvins), and find them exceptional versatile.
Last edited by dspellman at Oct 31, 2014,
#13
Quote by dspellman
No. The middle position is significantly different from the bridge position. The sound's not the same at all.

What I'd suggest is an HSH guitar with a five-way and switching that would allow you to coil tap the humbuckers. I'd further suggest adding a switch that would allow you to add in the bridge pickup. This would give you a neck plus bridge (like the middle position on an LP) *and* an "all-three" option. I have several (most are Carvins), and find them exceptional versatile.


That all sounds good -- can you recommend any models? I haven't considered Carvins because I figured they'd be out of my price range.
#14
Quote by KailM
That all sounds good -- can you recommend any models? I haven't considered Carvins because I figured they'd be out of my price range.

They are.

Try to see if you can find a Standard Stratocaster HSS with a Floyd Rose in the used market. They're about $700 new, so you might just be able to find a used one in your price range.
#15
Quote by KailM
That all sounds good -- can you recommend any models? I haven't considered Carvins because I figured they'd be out of my price range.


New ones likely are. Used is a different story.

The DC145 (HSH) is a good example. This is one of mine:



The two miniswitches by the tone knob are individual coil taps for the two humbuckers. When in the down position, only the cream coils on the guitar are active, so it acts and sounds like a strat. The humbuckers are both just hot enough that, when split, they have the same output as a standard strat single coil. In the UP position, both pickups are standard humbuckers again. You get the same sound from the center position, but all of the other positions have a different sound.

The lone miniswitch down by the bridge end of the five-way is a bridge pickup add-in switch. That means that the bridge pickup is ALWAYS on (in single coil OR humbucker mode, depending on the other switches), and that gives you four more sounds that you don't usually get, including the Les Paul neck plus bridge sound.

This particular guitar is solid mahogany body and neck (and it's a neck-through) with a quilt maple cap, ebony f/b, abalone dot fret markers, 12" radius, 24 frets, 25" scale, medium jumbo frets. It's about eight years old now, but there's not a lot I'd change about it if I were ordering again. My next Carvin will likely be one of the headless Holdsworth versions <G>.

I've purchased over half of my Carvins on the used market (this one was new), but since Carvins are custom, other folks will have picked options that you might not care about. That's the bad news. The good news is that this reduces the audience for specific guitars, so that there are some good deals to be had on those that tickle your fancy but not that of someone else.